No one really uses the term anymore as it’s kind of outdated, I believe, but often we used to hear of “her condition” meaning a woman’s pregnancy. What is my condition? Well, my condition is childless (for now). This is not said for you to feel sorry for me but is simply a fact of what is my current condition. It’s where I am. God has given me such a beautiful message over the last couple days and it all pulled together this morning! The enemy would love it if I would focus on my condition and forget my position! As a woman who longs for a child so intensely, it cuts deeper than words can describe to not be able to have one. Ask any woman dealing with, or who has dealt with, infertility and she will tell you it is pretty much all you think about, dream about, and pray about. You live every day eating, sleeping, working, and breathing with thoughts of not having a child. And wanting a child. It is in your every conscious and subconscious thought. It never leaves you. Ever. When you hear of more and more ladies you know, or even don’t know, becoming pregnant it so hard. It is painful. I have experienced this over the last 4 years. This year though, apparently the pregnancies are just out of control! I mean what are these women doing?! (I say in jest!) Seriously though, I think I have heard and seen more pregnancy announcements in this one year than I have in my entire life! At least it seems that way. And I am sure my age as something to do with it as well. (Hang in here with me cause I really am going somewhere good, I promise.) Recently though, something has happened. This year I started a group for girls I knew and girls who they knew who were all struggling with and going through infertility, secondary infertility, miscarriage, and adoption. Everyone knows someone and that’s how our group developed. God has blessed our little group and it has grown. We have become so close just loving and sharing and encouraging one another and always trying to point each other to Jesus. I love these ladies! In the last month we have had two of them tell us that they were pregnant! (And another who should be finding out soon if she is or isn’t.) I am humbled and a little astonished to tell you that I have felt nothing put pure and complete joy and excitement for them! No bitterness! No jealousy! No wondering, “Why not me, Lord?!” None of it! Maybe it’s because I have known their painful struggles and their beautiful hearts. Maybe it’s because I can relate to them and understand them. Or just maybe it’s the grace of an amazing God enabling me. His grace and mercy working in and through me in my own brokenness to love another who has been blessed with the very thing my heart most desires. This is what now brings me to tears. It is no longer my own pain at hearing, “I’m pregnant!” But it is the beauty of God’s love pouring out of my life and into another’s. If I were to continue to focus on my condition rather than hers, I would miss the glory of my position. Scripture tells us in Romans 12:15 to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Because I have experienced deep sorrow and know a unique pain, I am in a precious position to weep with those who weep because they are still suffering. Because I have walked in the darkness these women have walked in, I am able to rejoice with those who rejoice when they break through into the light of joy! And because of all of it am learning to rejoice with those who are rejoicing though they have not had to endure this same journey. I am learning to rejoice with them in that they won’t have to know this kind of suffering. They will have suffering of their own I will never know. I am learning again our struggles are our own. Others may not have walked even a mile in my shoes but I have quite possibly not walked a tenth of a mile in theirs. Someone else may not have the same battles to fight that I do but I do not have to fight the same battles others do. When I focus on my condition I lose sight of this. But when I focus on my position I can see what God wants to do in and through me. Sometimes your offering to God and to others comes at a cost. In 2 Samuel 24, King David is in need of land where he can give his burnt offerings to God. A man named Araunah offers King David some land for him to use at no cost. But King David refuses. He says, “I refuse to offer to God a sacrifice that costs me nothing.” (2 Samuel 2:24) Sometimes a sacrifice of praise comes at a price. That’s why it’s called a sacrifice. When I hear the sweet words, “I’m pregnant” from another, the sacrifice of my position has come to allow me to offer praise, glory, and rejoicing. In my position I can take delight in Her condition. I realize I am living with an open wound and it will still bleed at times. But as King David said, maybe I shouldn’t offer to God a sacrifice that costs me nothing.
Much thanks to Surviving INfertility, whose blog I thoroughly enjoy, for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I love her openness and how real she is with her story. Go check out her blog and be sure to follow. I know you will be blessed by her journey.
Here are the rules for the award:
- Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
- Include a link to their blog.
- Nominate 15 blogs that you’ve recently discovered, or follow regularly.
- Share 7 facts about yourself.
So, seven random facts about me:
- Seven is my favorite number.
- My husband and I have been together literally half my life.
- I am 33.
- I am way too right brained.
- I will always be a thespian at heart and love performing though I no longer do theater. Maybe I will again later.
- I love worship music. Can’t get enough! I prefer it over any other kind of music!
- I seriously lack in the area of follow through. I am really bad about not finishing things I start! Or even starting things I think about doing because I am afraid I won’t finish them! Me and Jesus are working on it!
I would like to nominate the following 15 blogs that I think are fantastic and that I have enjoyed and or that I would like to see more from!
- Redeeming Infertility
- The Girl and Her Pen
- Six Tiny Toes
- My Missing Ingredient is Patience (whom I also must apologize to because I haven’t gotten to finishing my draft of the Liebster Award she nominated me for. See random fact #7. Truly a witty and colorful blog I enjoy!)
- Walking in Freedom: Diary of a Christ Follower
- Some Day…But First…
- Of Life She Writes
- The Making of Baby P
- A Mommy at Heart
- Being pretty much a new blogger still that is the most blogs I have connected with and I truly think they are all great. So I hate to leave this incomplete (see previous #7 again!). I would like to ask if there are any you suggest to please leave a comment and link their blogs!
“Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb.” – Genesis 30:22 (Emphasis added)
“Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her.” 1 Samuel 1:19 (Emphasis added)
Mother’s Day. It’s here. It’s hard. It hurts. Your open wound bleeds a little more. You smile faint-hearted smiles and pray some unknowing and well meaning stranger doesn’t wish you a “Happy Mother’s Day” or ask “Are you a mom?” You fight the tears teetering on the surface the entire day. The same ones you’ve fought for the last week. Or maybe cry uncontrollably. The entire day. Unable to fight anymore. You are stuck between relentless hope and constant heartache. You don’t think you can face church. You wonder if you will ever be able to enjoy this day. You feel guilty. Guilty for feeling like you are making it all about you when it’s not supposed to be. But you can’t help it. You have longed to be a Mother. Dreamed of what your child would look like. Would he have his daddy’s eyes? Would she have your nose? Your color hair? You can’t imagine how it would actually feel to see two little lines. Or to feel a little body in your arms and tiny arms around your neck. You have played out in your mind hundreds of ways to tell your spouse he’s going to be a daddy. Every year you think, “Maybe next year.” But each year is the same. Like you’re stuck in your own version of the movie Groundhog’s Day. Only it’s called Mother’s Day. You battle envy at every pregnant woman that walks by. You see children all around and wonder how there can be so many and not even one for you. You feel isolated. Like all the times you’ve hidden away, a heap on the floor, body wracked with sobs and sometimes screams. You have prayed to, pleaded with, bargained with, begged, and yes, even yelled at God. And you wonder at times if God has forgotten you.
Sweet Friend, I want to tell you today that God has not forgotten you. He has heard every plea and not been hurt by your screams, except with an ache in His heart for the pain in yours. He has collected every tear and recorded each one in His book. When scripture tells us that God “remembered”, it does not mean He had forgotten. You are always in His thoughts. The biblical context for “remember” in scripture means so much more than to merely recall something or someone to mind. When God remembers His child, He is expressing concern for them and He takes action. Out of His great love and care for us He is moved to change things on our behalf. When God remembers His children, He does so with favor.
Today, when you feel isolated and forgotten, I am asking our God to remember you. I am asking Him to remember me. To act with loving care for us in ways that only He can. Does this mean He will open your womb? I don’t know that. I pray so. But even if the time for that is not yet come, I pray you will see His great love and care for you expressed so extravagantly that you know beyond any doubts He has indeed remembered you.
I guess just life and busyness has kept me from posting lately but I wanted to share a dream I had the other night and what the Lord spoke to me through it.
It was a simple dream but I found it profound, meaning literally it penetrated to the depths of my being, and it meant so much to me. I dreamed I was having acupuncture. They were putting the needles all over my back and it was very painful. Just when I thought I couldn’t take one more needle I would think of Jesus and all the suffering He went through, take a deep breath and say “ok go ahead”, as in go ahead with the next needle, keep going. I can do this. Immediately when I woke up from the dream I knew what the Holy Spirit was showing me through it. For those that have been in the IF (infertility) world for a significant length of time, I’m sure you’ve read or heard of acupuncture being used to help trigger healthy fertility. I have not done this. Acupuncture is also used for pain relief. What God was showing me through this dream is that this process and journey through infertility is a painful one. Sometimes we think we just can’t take it any more. We think, “I can not handle one more thing. It’s too painful.” We want relief from the pain. We want to be free of the heartache of not having a child. We just want the process and all the hurt to be over. I am finding that the more I press into Jesus in my pain the more I learn that I can keep going. I am completely dependent on Him and He is completely faithful to me. He knows my pain. He sees my suffering. He suffered more than anything we can imagine. It is through Him that I find my healing. When you feel you can’t take one more painful thing, think of Jesus. When you want relief from your heartache, press into Jesus. Yes, it is painful. Yes, it hurts. Jesus is the One Who heals. He will strengthen you and help you. With Him you can keep going.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:3-5
There isn’t much to tell with me right now until I have my surgery next week. I will be having laparoscopic surgery on the 24th looking at the outside of the pelvis to make sure I don’t have any endometriosis or scar tissue or anything that may be preventing pregnancy. I wonder why my previous Dr. didn’t do this sooner and that’s frustrating but it is what is and we are where we are so I am ready to get that done and one step closer to whatever our next step may be. So please be praying about the surgery for me and for our next steps and decisions following the surgery. And, as always, let me know how I can pray for you.
“Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” (Luke 9:42) That’s what I began praying almost 3 years ago. Like the father in this passage crying out for his child to be brought back to life, I began crying out for our own child to be brought to life. I knew God was hearing my prayers and seeing my tears but the grief and pain still came. Every month. And with each month that came, bringing with it more disappointment, I literally felt I was giving up a bit more of my hope. To think this was really only about a year into the process and here we are 3+ years later…still waiting. But God.
I walked into church one Sunday yet again disheartened and doing my best to smile and hide my hurt. My friend wasn’t fooled. She mouthed to me, “you ok?” I just bobbled my head around, gave a half faint-hearted smile and sat down. At the close of service she handed me a note written on one of those little yellow visitor cards in the pocket on the backs of the seats. “Do not give up hope. JOY is coming to you! Psalm 113:9 Thank you Father, that you settle me in my home as a happy mother of children. PRAISE THE LORD!! He is able to do more than we could ever ask, think, or imagine. I will stand in the gap and believe for you when you can’t believe anymore. He is FAITHFUL!!” (see pic below) Of course, I wept and wept again. It still brings me to tears. It seemed God continued to use this sweet woman to speak directly to me right when I needed it most. There were two powerful things about this little simple note that she was unaware of. I was wanting to give up hope and the first line said “Do not give up hope.” The next line, “Joy is coming to you!” This one tiny sentence was BIG to me. I messaged her later and told her why. I told her that it may seem silly or like a coincidence to some but to me it was exactly what I’d been thinking about for many months. I told her I had always loved the word “joy” and several months before this I began thinking if I ever had a little girl her name would be Joy! “JOY is coming to you!” I knew God was speaking to me! I knew it was confirmation. When God gives you a word you know it. I always think about Noah when God told him to build an ark. I imagine all the people thought he was crazy. But Noah trusted God no matter how crazy he may have seemed. This one little Holy Spirit inspired note refilled my hope and gave me reason to believe. I have carried this note with me every day since.
I shared all of this with another friend of mine and she said I should add to my prayer what Mary prayed, “May it be to me as you have said Lord.” So I began praying, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. May it be to me as you have said Lord.” This is what I believe. This is what I have to believe. There is much more to tell to follow this up which I will save for future post. But for now, what I pray for you to get from this is that if you are striving to hope and believe again, about anything, that you will seek the Lord and ask Him for a special word from Him to you. A word, and by “word” I don’t mean a literal actual one “word”, I mean something that He speaks to you directly, that you will know beyond any doubts that it’s straight from Him to you. It may be confirmation of something that has been on your heart that comes from something a friend says. It may be in a song on the radio or a passage that you read in scripture. He knows what it is you need to hear. Be expectant. Pray, watch and listen, and you will know it when He gives it to you. He is faithful.
I hope you will continue to follow our story and pray for us as God reveals more and more of His will and direction for us. If I can pray for you in any way leave me a comment or send an email.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13